This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," October 8, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GLENN BECK, HOST: Hello, America. Welcome to a very special edition of "The Glenn Beck Program."
It was 40 days, 40 nights ago that thousands of people stood together at the Lincoln Memorial. And I didn't know how many people would come. I just knew that I was supposed to stand there and challenge you to tell you that it was time to be better than we've allowed ourselves to become.
When I came around the corner, we had to — we had to be in these chutes, because of security. So, couldn't really see anything in the crowd. And as I came out of one of these chutes and around and I saw the crowd, the crowd was a mile long. It went from the Washington Monument all the way to the Lincoln Memorial — a mile.
It was a magical day. I wish, if you weren't there, I wish I could explain it or others could. I know we have a documentary that is at GlennBeck.com now showing the making of it and all the behind-the-scenes.
But it still — that is such an amazing documentary — but it still doesn't capture the feeling that was there.
I challenge people to restore honor in this country. People have mocked it now in the media. They say, when did we lose our honor? Oh, I don't know — when we started lying to ourselves and lying to each other and lying in business and government.
The way to restore our country is to look at the small and to fix the things in ourselves that are broken first. I reissued a call on that day to take the 40-day and 40-night challenge. I expanded it to this, a blueprint for national survival, to fill your life with faith, hope and charity. Fill your children's lives with it.
I tell you, I don't know what the future holds. In the words of Abraham Lincoln keep coming back to me, the world will little remember what we say here, but they will remember what we do here — paraphrasing Lincoln.
It's what we do that makes a difference. If we can just fix ourselves — our children are watching us and maybe they will see us do something and they will change their course of history, the giants that are inside of our children. Our children are watching. I feel as though we need to look at our children as clay pots.
That all of the things that we thought were true that everybody believed in, that America was a good place. We've made mistakes but it was a good place, that it was the entrepreneur. It was freedom that you can live side-by-side with people that are different than you.
You can — do you remember when we were growing up? Maybe it's just my family. We grew up — I don't ever remember hearing conversations of politics. I don't ever remember hearing them. I know there were people that my parents disagreed with. But somehow we didn't define ourselves through Republican and Democrat back then.
When did that happen to us? And is there a way back?
Tonight, we have an audience full of Americans who accepted this challenge on 8.28. We can hear some of the incredible stories throughout the hour. But let's first look back at the challenge that one individual at a time, one pledge at a time, is restoring America — from the launch to now.
BECK: Today marks 40 days and 40 nights until 8.28. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years.
Noah, rain, 40 days, 40 nights.
It's good cleansing time. So, when I ask you to join me on something, make a commitment to do these three things for the next 40 days and 40 nights to change your life.
First one on faith. Pray. Find your relationship with God. Pray on your knees every night.
The second thing is hope. Hope comes from truth. You can't expect honesty from others if you don't give it to them yourself. Stop all lies for the next 40 days.
And the third one is charity. Remember that it begins at home. Do something kind for every member of your family, at least once a week.
Let's use these next 40 days and night to prepare ourselves to show people who we really are.
I gave a 40-day challenge on the air — 40 days ago today.
BECK: My challenge to you today is to make a choice: Does America go forward and the American experience expands? Or does the experiment fail with us? If you pledge to yourself that you will restore honor in your own life, we will leave freedom better than how we found it.
BRYAN WILSON, CORVALLIS, MONTANA: Dear Glenn, charity is something I need more of. And the 40-day challenge has been a good wake-up call to me. By no small miracle, I found myself in attendance at 8.28. Me, just a guy from Montana with a wife and three kids.
I could have floated off the National Mall that day. On that day, I started my 40-day challenge to get myself back where I need to be in my life.
Bryan Wilson, Corvallis, Montana.
BILL FAIRWEATHER, COLUMBUS, OHIO: My wife and very best friend in the world, I lost on August 16th, after 39 years of marriage to breast cancer. I laid her to rest on the 27th.
And your challenge gave me hope and focus. And God's love was there to catch me during my time of great sadness. I was able to challenge my sadness into hope, by being on a bus the evening of the 27th and on the Mall thanking God for what he was doing. I want to thank you, a voice crying in the wilderness for me.
Bill Fairweather, Columbus, Ohio.
JIM HICKS, AZUSA, CALIFORNIA: Since I have taken this challenge, I find myself praying more — pray for our troops and I pray for people in Washington to do the right thing. Faith, hope and charity — I think it's basically made me a better man.
ALTON R. BROWN, ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA: My name is Alton R. Brown. I live in St. Petersburg, Florida. I'm an ex-Marine.
I remember taking an oath in front of Old Glory to give my life for this nation. And it's breaking my heart to see my nation basically going down the tubes. So, I'm ready to serve my nation again in whatever capacity.
BECK: One man can change the world. That man or woman is you. You make the difference.
BECK: It's weird. I think my staff today is trying to kill me because they didn't tell me these things in advance. And — my job is humbling.
I want to start here, with the audience. Twenty-two people have taken the challenge. Seven attended 8.28, 17 didn't. Ten are politically active in our audience, 13 are not.
Who took — who took the challenge? Now, I want to ask, why? Anybody want to start? Why did you take it? Lisa?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Focus and clarity. I send out e-mail to 2,000 people every day. And it was all over the place.
And this challenge has allowed me to have such a focus, it allows a two-way communication. God's leading me to get out information and educate. I can't thank you enough.
BECK: No, no. Please.
OK, who else? Why did you take it? Tony?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I don't believe we have the answers. I believe the answers, God has the answers. So I believe this is a way to draw closer to God and humbly pray for his presence in our nation to return us to the nation that he wants us to be.
BECK: You know, I have to tell you, that is the biggest thing and that's the thing I learned on 8.28. I didn't know what I was going to say until that week. It was two nights before that I decided what I was going to say. Challenge them to change their lives.
And I didn't even know what 8.28 was supposed to be. And, you know, I think God just let us figure it out when we go along, but we have to be in a place to where we can hear him. And I know people will make fun of that and, you know, whatever.
But as people came up to me over, you know, I said a minute ago that my job is humbling. My job is also a little frightening at times because I'm no different than you. I'm just a guy — who finds myself in a remarkable situation.
And people ask me, what do we do? I don't have any — I don't have a clue. I don't have a clue. So, I'm just looking for the answers myself.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I was so into my job that I had forgotten what was important in life. I hadn't been to church in 10 years. It hadn't prayed.
I had a wonderful husband, stepson, children, my own children. I didn't know what this country stood for anymore. I didn't know what I stood for.
And now, I'm starting to find myself. That's such peace. Family is coming together so beautifully. It's really remarkable.
BECK: Who has — who has learned something about themselves that has surprised them?
Nobody has learned anything about?
This is Robert Giger. He's an auto mechanic, took the 40-day and 40- night challenge. What did you learn about yourself, Robert?
ROBERT GIGER, AUTO MECHANIC: I learned I wasn't a terrible person.
BECK: Weren't what?
GIGER: A terrible person. I took the challenge mostly for my wife. I treated her horribly for years. I've been carrying around anger and I've shut myself down and I've been blaming her for everything. I've seen our marriage slipping away.
And I woke up one day and my heart was breaking. And I haven't even told her this yet. I was going to take her to dinner this weekend and tell her this. I just want her to forgive me for all the pain I've caused her all the years and I hope she'd give me a chance to make it up to her for the rest of our lives.
BECK: Why? What made you believe that you — what made you believe that you were a bad person or you had to be the person that you were? Just life that just kind of —
GIGER: Well, when I was seven, my father got sick, and I didn't see him for almost a year at all hardly. And then he died when I was only 20.
I never got a chance to be a friend to him. And we were — but he was a very strong man. His faith in God was unshakable.
And I didn't know that until 8.28. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought anger and hard heart was strength.
BECK: Who was — we have such a strange understanding of strength in this country, I think. Asking for forgiveness is strength. Saying I'm weak and I need help, but I don't need you to pick me up. I just — I just need help. That's strength. That's real strength.
Who here found the well of anger going away or being tempered? Did anybody else find that?
Your name is Rowena?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes.
BECK: Hi, Rowena. What did you —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I found after taking this challenge, I primarily walked around a pretty angry person and it was because of my political views. And I often was challenged and I found myself in the situations or debates with family members, and friends, long-time friends. And I was apolitical my whole life.
And then, you know, I took this challenge. And it's actually made me more mindful of my actions, my decisions, what to say, the reactions to me.
And I'm not as angry anymore.
BECK: It's amazing.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I really am not. I used to actually hold a lot in. I lived this lie because — I'm from California.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I live in New York now.
BECK: Ooh! I mean, two strikes — two strikes and I think you're out on those two.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: But you know what I mean. I've been living this life. It didn't want to say what my true views were because I didn't want backlash from anybody. And I just got tired of it. Now I feel freer and I'm not as angry. And it's not so bad, you know? Just —
BECK: It's a — I am at the beginning of a journey where I'm learning so much new — so many new things.
Please, please, at least rent the movie on Gandhi. But read about Gandhi.
Gandhi had the answer. You know, are we going to, are we going to fight for change? Or are we — are we just going to stand for what's right? And there's a big difference.
And one is, you know, Sun Tzu said used your opponent's force against them — just let their force — you know, basically, as they're coming charging at you, just move. Just let them — and their own force will destroy them. And it is really freeing when you realize, when you accept not the role that everybody wants to put on you, when you just accept the role of who you really are. And who we really are — I mean this both sides, left, right, all of them — we are good, decent people.
I don't care even if you're a progressive or, you know, whatever. We're good people. We just have to start acting like it.
And I guess maybe it goes back to the — what I said at the beginning. When did we change? I don't remember being separated as Democrats, Republicans and independents. And I think, I fear that that's all our children will remember about this time is. Oh, yes, they were Democrats, so we didn't talk to them. Or they were Republicans, we don't — that's crazy talk.
I want to introduce you to Harry Crane. He is a PhD student. And he took the challenge.
You are a lonely man, aren't you?
HARRY CRANE, PHD STUDENT: Yes.
BECK: Did you date at all? Or do you have any friends?
CRANE: I try my best.
BECK: Yes. So, there you are. You are somebody who I assume watches the show and kind of comes from the same —
CRANE: Yes, in secret.
BECK: In secret?
CRANE: In a dark room somewhere.
BECK: So, why did you — why did you take the challenge and what did you find?
CRANE: Well, for me, it really started on 8.28. And —
BECK: You were there?
CRANE: I was there and I was at the event the night before at the Kennedy Center. So before I went, I thought I was doing everything right. I saw you talk about faith, hope and charity. And I said, yes, you know, faith, I got that, hope, charity.
But during 8.28, I felt like there was more that I needed to do. And I left — I left not really knowing what that was. I thought I was doing everything I could.
And what I trying to — what ended up being the case was when I took the challenge, I discovered I was really lying to myself. I thought that I was doing all these things. And I was. But I didn't know why. I was doing them because I'd always been told to do them, or just because I had always done them.
BECK: A huge difference in that, isn't there? A huge difference.
BECK: You know, when Thomas Jefferson — and I said this a million times — when I read the quote from Thomas Jefferson, "question with boldest even the very — "fix reason firmly in her seat" is the first line, "and question with boldness even the very existence of God for there'd be a God, he must surely rather honest questioning over blindfolded fear." When I read, that was the real beginning of my change because I realized I didn't know anything because I found it.
Somebody else had found it. A historian had found it and, you know, written it and just summed it all up for me in a nice little package. Or my parents told me about faith and God and so, I had that.
I didn't — I wasn't the owner of a single view point. And that's why I say on this program and I mean it sincerely, do not believe me on anything. Do your own homework.
It's worthless if you are — this country has been riding on the fumes of our parents and grandparents and great grandparents and our founders. We haven't — you said it earlier. You didn't even know what you believed. You didn't know what America was anymore. You didn't know what you stood for anymore.
That's why we are destroying ourselves, because we don't believe in anything.
May I finish the conversation with Harry here in a second, because I want to find out what he did find out — next.
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